Do you eagerly anticipate retirement? Or dread it? Does the prospect of leaving your career and focusing on your family or pursuing the passions you never had time for during your working life leave you feeling energised, or terrified?
Many people have their whole life revolving around their work and once that is no longer there, they find themselves at a loss. Just as a parent whose children have all left home suffers from so-called empty nest syndrome, recently-retired people can find themselves struggling with a sense of loss, feeling a loss of purpose, social interaction and community that being part of a working environment used to provide.
Many people have grand ideas of things they will do when they retire including new hobbies to take on and tackling those home tasks put off “until I have more time”.
Many look to retirement as a time to finally do all the things they’ve always hoped to do but never had the time to accomplish. While the young, or middle-aged might spend time daydreaming, and even romanticising the prospect of retirement, many people find the reality is far from what they anticipated and discover they are not emotionally prepared for retirement when it happens.
There are multiple aspects to consider when thinking about preparing emotionally for retirement, but most can be covered by asking yourself two questions to see how well prepared you are for this next phase of your life.
People often wonder how they are going to be able to cope with the reduced income that accompanies retiring from the workforce. While just as you are about to retire is not the best time to start thinking about this important matter, if you have prepared ahead of time by speaking to financial planners throughout your working career, you will feel far more secure as the days approach.
If not, you will need to consider ways you can improve the investments you already might have or consider alternative ways to earn an income after retirement.
Anticipating retirement with all sorts of goals to take great vacations or perfect your golf swing is one thing, but many people don’t understand how much extra time they will suddenly find on their hands. It can be quite a shock, especially after so many years of every moment being taken up on the pursuit of career and family duties.
What people don’t understand is that the extra time on their hands comes not just from the work hours, but also from the time they spent getting to and from work each day, and the time preparing for the work day each morning or evening.
To prevent boredom, consider finding volunteer projects or charitable endeavours to keep you busy which can also be very rewarding and allow you to give back a little of the privileges you’ve benefited from over your working life.
There are many retirees that actually go back to work on a part-time basis, not necessarily working in the field they left, but instead trying their hand at a second career.